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BMJ Open ; 11(10): e051506, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462964


OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to explore differences in COVID-19 outcomes between male and female cases in the Apulian District of Foggia, Italy. DESIGN AND SETTING: We performed a retrospective epidemiological study among all COVID-19 confirmed cases that occurred in the Apulian District of Foggia from 29 February to 30 June 2020. The surveillance data from a regional registry (GIAVA-COVID) were used. MAIN OUTCOMES: The main outcome measures were the proportion of hospitalisations, virus clearance and the case fatality rate. RESULTS: A total of 1175 cases (50.7% female; median age: 55 years) were identified among 55 131 tests performed. The proportion of hospitalisation with COVID-19 diagnosis was 45.4% in men versus 37.9% in women (p<0.01), while the average length of stay in hospitals was 31.3±14.6 days in women versus 26.8±14.4 days in men (p<0.01). The proportion of cases who achieved virus clearance was higher in women (84.2%; days to clearance: 28.0±12.1) than in men (79.3%; days to clearance: 29.4±12.9; p<0.05). Men were associated with a significantly higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than women (case fatality rate 16.1% vs 10.4%; p<0.01). The mean time, from diagnosis to death, was 14.5±14.4 days in women compared with 10.6±10.7 days in men (p<0.01). The male sex, age ≥55 years and presence of at least one underlying comorbidity significantly raised the risk of hospitalisation, persistent infection and death (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that more attention should be paid to sex as a variable for the interpretation of COVID-19 data. Sex-disaggregated data will help clinicians to make appropriate patient-tailored medical decisions.

COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors